IBM Turns to Nanotechnology
"In a paper published in the Nature Nanotechnology journal, the team describes a method that uses so-called 'DNA origami' – pieces of genetic material which can be arranged into patterns similar to those used in the microchips common in computers and other electronic devices," writes The Guardian's Bobbie Johnson. "After creating a scaffold of DNA, nanotubes are then inserted into the design to build a microchip that is several times smaller – and therefore faster – than anything that today's most advanced techniques can achieve. According to the paper, the procedure can produce chips with gaps as small as 6 nanometers. Most chips produced commercially currently operate at the 45nm scale, while cutting edge techniques are able to produce chips that operate at the 22 nanometer level."
"The cost involved in shrinking features to improve performance is a limiting factor in keeping pace with Moore's Law and a concern across the semiconductor industry," says Spike Narayan of IBM Research. "The combination of this directed self-assembly with today's fabrication technology eventually could lead to substantial savings in the most expensive and challenging part of the chip-making process."